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Treasure hunter pleads guilty

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 1/6/21

For nearly a decade, those seeking their fortune have been scouring the Rocky Mountains in search of Forrest Fenn’s treasure, estimated at $2 million. One such hunter, Roderick Dow Craythorn, recently pleaded guilty to excavating archeological resources in Yellowstone National Park. The Syracuse, Utah native was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 16, for excavating archeological resources and destroying U.S. property—this month he pleaded guilty to charges. Craythorn was found digging in the Fort Yellowstone Cemetery between Oct. 1, 2019, and May 24 while looking for the treasure, a crime that can hold a penalty of up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, and one year of supervised release. He is scheduled for sentencing on March 17 in Casper, Wyoming.

“The hunt for the Forrest Fenn treasure was often viewed as a harmless diversion, but in this case it led to substantial damage to important public resources,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Klaassen in a Jan. 5 press release. “The Defendant let his quest for discovery override respect for the law.”

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